Have you finally reached the age where it’s time to look into signing up for Medicare? If so, that’s great news. However, Medicare signup isn’t always the easiest thing to do for most people and can be somewhat complicated, which is why Good & Associates is here to help. In addition to providing first-rate Medicare and health insurance solutions, we also have some Medicare signup tips for you below, so read on!
5 Important Things to Know Before Joining Medicare
Before signing up for Medicare, there are some important things to keep in mind, such as:
- You Can Still Apply for Medicare if Working Past 65: Not everyone is ready for retirement at age 65, but that doesn’t mean Medicare signup isn’t an option for you. For those who still plan to work for a while beyond retirement age, you can apply for Medicare Part A. Doing so three months before your birthday is often recommended. This type of Medicare offers hospital insurance without any premiums, assuming you qualify of course.
- Don’t Sleep on It: Getting started with your Medicare signup is one of the best ways to ensure you receive it. Many insurance professionals recommend applying as early as possible if you’re turning 65 because there’s a short enrollment window; three months before and three months after you turn 65. The same advice also goes for your Social Security benefits.
- Medicare Enrollment Isn’t Automatic: It’s important to remember that Medicare enrollment doesn’t happen automatically when you turn 65 unless you’re receiving Social Security benefits already. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for it, and to be eligible for Medicare Part A without having to pay a premium, you’ll need to have paid into Social Security and Medicare taxes for a minimum of 10 years.
- Learn Your Coverage Options: Another important aspect to keep in mind when signing up for Medicare is learning your coverage options inside and out. This is because Medicare Parts A and B might not offer everything you need in terms of comprehensive health coverage. But there are additional plans to fill in the coverage gaps, such as Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Shop Around: When it comes to Medicare signup, don’t be afraid to shop around for different plans and compare them in a number of ways including the level of coverage you’ll receive, how much the plan costs, what the service area is, as well as the network of providers available.
How Do You Enroll in Medicare?
Enrolling in Medicare is a frequent question Good & Associates receives: how is it done? The first step in Medicare enrollment is to choose whether to join Medicare Part A or Part B. For Medicare Part A, this covers most hospital visits and as mentioned above, doesn’t require a copay. Medicare Part B does require a monthly rate and covers most of your other additional medical care.
The three ways to be enrolled in Medicare are:
- You’re Auto-Enrolled in Medicare: As previously mentioned, you can be auto-enrolled in Medicare if you’ve already been drawing Social Security benefits for at least four months prior to your 65th birthday. Additionally, auto-enrollment can occur when you’re receiving the Social Security benefits of a widow or spouse.
- Enrolling In Medicare at Your Local Social Security Office: You can also go to your local Social Security office to enroll in a plan in person, in addition to faxing your local office the paperwork as well.
- Enrolling Online: There are also places where you can enroll online, like with Good & Associates, using your Social Security information. For those looking to get the best plan, working with an insurance expert can often be beneficial, especially if you’re unsure about what plan will work best for you.
When Should You Start Your Medicare Signup?
As mentioned earlier, the sooner you sign up the better. The signup period lasts three months before your 65th birthday and three months after it, so if you miss the window you may end up having to pay a late penalty. However, there are ways you can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without being penalized, but this is only if you have health insurance from a current employer or are listed as a dependent on your spouse’s insurance plan.
When is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
The annual Medicare enrollment period occurs every year from October 15 to December 7. This is when you can change your Medicare plan if you’re not happy with it. There are also special enrollment periods assessed on a case-by-case basis that allow you to change your plan outside of the annual enrollment period. However, there are some requirements, such as:
- You desire to switch to a 5-Star Medicare Plan. You can do so from Dec. 8 through Nov. 30.
- You lose your current coverage (those who have had their Medicare plan canceled for not paying their monthly premiums aren’t eligible).
- You are released from jail.
- You move to a new address, city, or nursing home.
Learn more about Medicare signup by contacting Good & Associates today!
If you want to learn more about signing up for Medicare and determining what plan is right for you, we can help. Good & Associates also offers individual and group health plans, life insurance, and dental insurance. Our site also offers insight into whether choosing Medigap or Medicare is right for you.
As part of the Covered California state health insurance exchange, we’re able to easily determine the insurance you or your business needs that is stipulated by the federal government. We represent almost all health insurance companies in the area offering such plans.
To learn more about Medicare signup and Covered California plans, contact us online today to get a quote or call 1 (800) 429-9900 or (909) 613-0056.